METHODS: A literature review using the MEDLINE search engine using the keywords "obesity", "low back pain", "body mass index" "BMI" and "osteoarthritis" from years 1990 to 2004 was utilised. The method employed is similar to that utilised by evidence-based practice advocates.
RESULTS: The available data at this time is controversial with no clear-cut evidence connecting low back pain with obesity.
CONCLUSION: There is a lack of a clear dose-response relationship between body mass index (BMI) and low back pain. Further, studies on the relationship between obesity and related lumbar osteoarthritis, knee pain, and disc herniation are also problematic. There is little doubt that future studies with controlled variables are needed to determine the existence of an unambiguous link, if any.
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